Monday, July 7, 2008

Bells Bend Planning Meeting July 24th

July 24, 2008 could be one of the most defining days in the environmental history of Nashville since the battle that saved Radnor Lake from development. Please attend the July 24th Metro Planning Commission meeting and help save Nashville's Bells Bend, one of the last and largest remaining areas of open space and farmland remaining in Davidson County.

Jack May and developer Tony Giarratana, in cooperation with the Metro Planning Department, are actively seeking approval for a mega-development in Nashville's Bells Bend. The proposed May development is bigger than anything this city has ever seen. This perimeter city within Nashville is scaled to accommodate 40,000 people daily, 10 corporate campuses, 5,000 condo units, a 15-18 story hotel, a 6 lane bridge across the Cumberland River - you get the picture. With nearly 20 million square feet of office/retail/residential space, it will rival downtown Nashville. Welcome to the Atlantification of Nashville.

In a recent door-to-door canvas, 92% of polled households in the Scottsboro/Bells Bend community voted against this development, instead wanting something greater for this unique area that would benefit all of Nashville - something that would assure a future place for Nashville on any list of Great American Cities. Instead of a massive 10 to 15 year construction project resulting in one more business/ retail/shopping/housing district, imagine an outdoor recreational, agricultural, and residential conservation district, a place for you and your family to bike, hike, camp, star-gaze, bird-watch, fish, kayak, and ride horses - with farms you can visit growing local, fresh food - all within a stone's throw of Downtown Nashville.

Which vision will help retain the heart of Nashville's character, distinguishing us from other cities, rather than creating another bridge to "Anywhere USA"?

To stop this development and instead, bring a rural conservation district to fruition, we must speak in one voice. We are inviting you to come to a crucial Planning Commission Meeting on July 24th where the fate of Nashville's Bells Bend will be determined.

On July 24 the Metro Planning staff will present the Scottsboro/Bells Bend Detailed Design Plan to the Planning Commission for a vote. A positive vote on the plan in its current form makes it almost certain that the May Development will receive approval later in the year by the Planning Commission. The meeting begins at 4:00 pm with the Scottsboro/Bells Bend discussion scheduled to begin around 6 pm. We are asking that everyone be there by 5 pm so that we are ready when the testimonies begin. The meeting will be held at the "Metro Southeast" Building, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike (the old Genesco Building, east of the Briley Parkway intersection). We hope to have several hundred supporters there, so you may want to arrive early for parking and to avoid rush-hour traffic. As you turn into the parking lot, it will be in the second building on your right. A map to Metro Southeast can be found at the following link:

http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/agendas/2008_agenda_dates.htm

You can also show your support by wearing a "Bells Bend - Keep It Country" T-shirt. T-shirts can be purchased at the Bells Bend Park Nature Center parking lot on Saturday, July 12, 9-11am and Sunday, July 20, 9-11am. For directions to the Nature Center, go to http://www.nashville.gov/parks/nature/. You will also be able to purchase a t-shirt at the door of the planning commission meeting.

Want to do more? Please contact the Metro Planning Commissioners or your Metro Council Member to let them know what you want for the future of Nashville and Bells Bend. Links are below.

· Metro Planning Commissioners: http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/memberslist.htm

· Metro Council Members: http://www.nashville.gov/council/council_roster.htm

· To learn more about our alternative vision for Nashville's Bells Bend, visit www.bellsbend.org

With one voice, we can make Nashville a Great City of the Future.

The Beaman Park to Bells Bend Conservation Community

The Mayor’s Green Ribbon Commission

Don't forget to tell the Mayor's Green Ribbon Commission how important open space and conservation are to you! Please click on the link below and fill out the survey that will help designate what Green initiatives the city of Nashville takes on-including more open space.

http://www.nashville.gov/mayor/green_ribbon/index.htm

Melissa Starnes
Tennessee Environmental Council
One Vantage Way, Suite D-105
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: 615.248.6500 Fax: 615.248.6545
www.tectn.org

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